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Report Condemns Japan's Response To Nuclear Accident

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the how-about-condemning-the-earthquake dept.

Japan 267

mdsolar sends this quote from an article at the NY Times: "From inspectors who abandoned the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as it succumbed to disaster to a delay in disclosing radiation leaks, Japan's response to the nuclear accident caused by the March tsunami fell tragically short, a government-appointed investigative panel said on Monday. ... In particular, an erroneous assumption that an emergency cooling system was working led to an hours-long delay in finding alternative ways to draw cooling water to the plant, the report said. All the while, the system was not working, and the uranium fuel rods at the cores were starting to melt."

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In another era ... (4, Funny)

sirdude (578412) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497206)

... there would have been less "soteigai" and more "seppuku".

Re:In another era ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497232)

There would have been less "seppuku" and more Chernobyl.

Re:In another era ... (2)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497284)

Comparisons with Chernobyl are varying. Prof. Kodoma [youtube.com] estimated 10-40 times Chernobyl (video has transcript and CC).

Dunno (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497248)

Once that plant started to melt down any work on site was going to be long and dangerous. The only way to protect the local people was to move them away. So its pretty clear that the local area was not evacuated fast enough, but I don't see that using a different approach in the first few hours would have helped. That plant was gone and about to melt down. It was destroyed by a big earthquake and at least two big waves.

Re:Dunno (0, Flamebait)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497312)

No, you stupid fuck. The plant was beyond hope, but the radioactive emissions were not pre-ordained. Proper cooling (which would have meant functioning ICs OR venting+water injection) could have saved the day.

Re:Dunno (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497334)

Proper cooling (which would have meant functioning ICs OR venting+water injection)

But how could authorities have done that, given that most of the gear at the reactor site was trashed?

Re:Dunno (4, Interesting)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497544)

Unit 1 IC train A was shut down by operators to avoid excessive cooling which would have thermally stressed the metal of the RPV and shortened the life of an already old plant. Later, power to operate the valves that would have made it active again became unavailable.

At that point, the RPV should have been vented and water should have been added using fire engines. This was not done for a variety of reasons, such as that the evacuation was not over yet. When at last venting was attempted, it was found that a valve needed for venting ad failed closed, possibly because of excessive pressure. Attempts to open it manually met with failure.

So, eventually the reactor vented itself. Explosively.

The severe accident management guidelines did NOT, in fact, state that venting should only be performed post-evac. They were ignored in the event.

Even later in the accident sequence sufficient fresh water became unavailable for a while (the first reactor explosion damaged fire trucks, severed water lines and prompted a TOTAL evacuation of the site). A decision was made to delay salt-water cooling. This probably contributed to the melt-through in reactor 3.

Re:Dunno (2)

Hynee (774168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497552)

They fucked up by not having adequate backup power systems.

Everything in the generator hall was fine AFAIK except outside power was down and backup generators were trashed by the tsunami. And that was is, there were no better protected generators, no generators that could run from the heat of the reactor, and no plan to fly in working generators. Derp.

Re:Dunno (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497554)

It's sad when a post that starts out 'No, you stupid fuck.' is modded up. Are we on 4chan now? It seems like children are using their parent's uid now too.

Re:Dunno (-1, Troll)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497610)

I like to believe that I am on a tech-oriented site where being right is more important than being polite.

There is no downmod for "stuff that I happen to find offensive" by the way but feel free to abuse mod points and call me a troll, if you have them.

Or if you don't like my style you could say it to my face, using your own name to identify yourself like a real person does.

Re:Dunno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497702)

Or if you don't like my style you could say it to my face

Much like your insults, that would accomplish... absolutely nothing.

using your own name to identify yourself like a real person does.

Is my anonymity that offensive?

Re:Dunno (0)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497888)

Why do you care so much about karma? I have enough of it to burn that I can continue this VERY off-topic talk. Don't you? Oh, but perhaps you are a known troll and fresh out of sockpuppets?

Re:Dunno (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497858)

Hell yeah, man.

These discussions would be painfully boring to read if it weren't for folks like you. I'll buy you a beer if you ever stop by San Diego. A good one, too, like Stone - not Bud Light and wine coolers, which is what all these thumb-sucking bedwetters drink.

Friended.

Re:Dunno (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497924)

Thanks. It's just that I am tired of all the mealy-mouthed "oh but nuclear is SCIENCE and SCIENCE is doubleplusgood" harping.

Keep that beer in mind, I plan to come on over when your gov't starts showing signs of sanity.

Re:Dunno (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497936)

I don't care for your style, but mostly because it is ineffective. The "stupid fuck" will just go into defensive mode, so you haven't changed his mind. Meanwhile, those of us in the people in the peanut gallery don't usually equate knowledgeable professionals with needless public profanity - so you aren't even convincing the peanut gallery like you would have otherwise.

Re:Dunno (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498018)

Yes, you are correct, of course. I am just very, very angry. I think I am conveying that pretty effectively.

Any thoughts on what I have posted, just to keep this semi-on-topic?

Re:Dunno (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498146)

I'm abusive on this site from time to time. It rarely gets a positive response, usually eliciting abuse, silence or hurt feelings comments. However I usually feel better about it, although my housemate saw me mid-abuse once and told me that I looked like a psycho, which has cut down on my bad behaviour somewhat.

Back on topic: yeah those Japanese really fucked up huh.

Re:Dunno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498350)

say it to my face, using your own name to identify yourself like a real person does.

So Magada is your real name? I doubt you talk like that in real life conversations. 'Say it to my face', are we in a bar? I post anonymously because my post is off-topic and people browse at 1 to avoid comments that are off-topic. I have no sock puppets.

Starting a post with insults and profanity do not come from the part of the brain that is responsible for reason and your uid suggests that you are an adult and should know better. I don't currently have mod points and I've never replied to a post anonymously just so I could mod down or up.

1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497252)

Can you imagine if 1% of cars would randomly blow up? How about 1% of airplanes have their engines fall off in flight? There wouldn't be cars or airplanes.

But, 1% of all nuclear power plants in the world have now experienced melt downs. Per wikipedia, 441 operating plants in the world.

echo 5/441 | bc -l .01133786848072562358

So, OVER 1% catastrophic failure. .I'm sure all the pro pro pro nuke industry apologists on /. will mod this to oblivion. Facts can be inconvenient.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (4, Informative)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497344)

How many cars have you driven 24/6 for 60 years? Hell, few airplanes are in the air after 30 years.

On top of that, 0.4% of all cars get in accidents every year. Every year more people die in the US from traffic accidents then in every nuclear power incident ever.

Sources:
http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1103.pdf [census.gov]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_vehicles_in_the_United_States#Total_number_of_vehicles [wikipedia.org]

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (5, Funny)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497404)

To be fair, nuclear plant reactors tend to not cover as much distance in their lifetimes . . . that might contribute to their low traffic accident numbers.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497460)

um...

quote ...It found American and Delta/Northwest had the oldest fleets, at about 16 years on average. As of the end of 2008, a small percentage of the merged Delta/Northwest's planes dated back to the late 1960s.

U.S. fleets are among the oldest in the world, said Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst at the Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia. /quote

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-02-01/travel/planes.age.dreamliner_1_plane-oldest-fleets-passengers?_s=PM:TRAVEL [cnn.com]

The above is for passenger planes, freight is handled with dc-9s etc. and the most popular trainers are still ancient cesna 152s.

Haven't heard thousands of reports of engines falling off these old planes.

Nice try tho.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (2)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497632)

My point exactly. If you want to use this example to state "we should not continue to operate 60 year old nuclear power plants," I would agree with you for the same reason I do not believe we should operate 60 year old aircraft (which we don't, because that would be stupid.) In fact, your citation only demonstrates a small percentage of aircraft are even their early 40's, which is in line with my "few aircraft are over 30 years old".

I apologize if my analogies and comparisons are a bit rough, but it started as an apples to oranges comparison.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (3, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497972)

There are many 60 year old light aircraft still being flown on a daily basis.

Those flying 60 year old planes are a lot like my old granddads axe though. On their 5th engine, 6th prop, 2nd windscreen, 3rd instrument cluster etc.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (2)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497348)

I count 10 reactors that have melted down:

BORAX-i
EBR-i
The sodium reactor expiremnt
Stationary Low Power reactor No 1
SNAP8ER
Fermi 1
SNAP8DR
3 mile island
chernobyl
fukushima

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497504)

He's talking about civil power plants. That drops it to the last three plants on the list and Windscale.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (4, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497352)

Even with pessistimistic estimates for Chernobyl and Fukushima death rates nuclear power still kills less people per unit of energy than any other form of electrical generation.

If you want to complain about the safety of nuclear power tell us what you want to replace it with. Be honest and include the expected change in fatalities resulting from switching over to your alternative.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (-1)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497490)

nuclear power still kills less people per unit of energy than any other form of electrical generation.

Citation needed

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1, Informative)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497538)

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0, Troll)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497620)

"Credible" citation needed

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497634)

Now you're just being a douchebag.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497720)

Sorry but stating as fact some words from some guy named "BW" on the Internet seems below the very low standards of even Slashdot. At what point do we just start flinging feces at each other like a bunch of monkeys?

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497744)

You could actually read his report, note the sources he cites and verify for yourself whether or not he accurately quoted them.

You did not do any of those things, however, so after initially assuming that you were asking for a citation in good faith I recognized the fact that you were slinging mud from the beginning rather than offering honest debate

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497898)

You assume I have not read it, when this is a nuke shill favorite posted here all the time . . . Meaningful debate based on good data is hard enough as it is, meaningful debate based on random blog posts off the Internet is impossible.

Suffice it to say, Fukushima is an extremely important data point for this topic. How is a 3/13 blog post that does not take into account that important data point relevant in the real world?

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498006)

As it stands right now the Fukishima death toll is currently 0 due to the reactor incident. The only remaining question how many future cancer deaths will be caused by the incident an as it stands currently the most pessimistic credible estimate is on the order of 1000. That's not enough to the ranking.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498100)

As it stands right now, everyone smoking, inhaling asbestos, and contracting HIV today has a 0 death count. Is this a reasonable supportive argument for smoking, using asbestos, or contracting HIV? Why is it a reasonable supportive argument for the Fukushima fallout discussion?

most pessimistic credible estimate is on the order of 1000.

Citation needed.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498066)

So say Fukushima makes the numbers 10 times worse (it won't, numbers that big don't change that quickly, and given the fukushima death toll is up to .... 3 ... yeah)? It's still nearly an order of magnitude smaller than our main source of energy.

Summary: You're a fucking twat.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498176)

Hi. Did you know that posting anonymously to a non-anonymous post to avoid accountability makes you a fucking twat? It shows whatever point you are trying to make is too weak to own up for it.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498302)

The trouble is, some of the commonly-used sources are... misleading. They do things like report radioactive emissions from coal plants and pollution-related deaths based on unfiltered stacks that are illegal now.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497890)

At what point do we just start flinging feces at each other like a bunch of monkeys?

I'm waiting with mouth open and arms wide.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (3, Interesting)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497550)

Sure: Deaths per TWh [nextbigfuture.com]
0.04 deaths per TWh for nuclear. Hydro is a bit more than twice that, wind is at 4 times as much, and Coal is at 42 times that again.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497650)

"Credible" citation needed.
Please include the credentials of "BW."

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498324)

Hydro is a bit more than twice that

Does this include deaths related from dam failures of hydroelectric dams that were designed largely for flood control as a result of a combination of shoddy construction and once-in-2000-years flooding? Including deaths that would have resulted anyway from the once-in-2000-years flood itself even without a dam? I have a feeling they do based on past experience...

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497558)

"Citation needed"

Why? Seriously, why would you post something like that, when you have the world's information at your fingertips? Are you too lazy to look it up yourself? Why do people bother to post things like "citation needed"?

Here, let me google that for you.

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html

You are welcome.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497740)

I would imagine it's because some people feel that they shouldn't have to look up everything that someone else says. If someone states something as a fact, then perhaps these people feel that they should be the ones to back it up.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497512)

And land use. How much land is going to be devoted to the infrastructure in question.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497586)

Hi, khallow. After defending Japan's response so much [slashdot.org] , I thought you would be no where to be found once this report came out. Yet here you are . . .

So, do you think this report is some kind of conspiracy or something? Why don't you just come out and say it instead of beating around the bush? You really think Green Peace paid off the government-appointed investigative panel with their cocaine money, or something, right?

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497656)

He's a nuke shill, no mistake about that. I doubt he's including the land permanently contaminated by Mayak, Fukushima and Chernobyl in his "land use" statistics.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497768)

If I recall correctly, he was saying solar power was far worse than nuclear contamination and fallout because it "takes up more land." Some nuke shills would do more justice to their side by keeping quiet . . .

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498016)

If I recall correctly, he was saying solar power was far worse than nuclear contamination and fallout because it "takes up more land."

Maybe I did say that. But googling around, here's [slashdot.org] where I talk about land use by nuclear in response to a common by you, Idou (which I quote below):

However, what I find hard to understand is why you then feel like you know what the best energy policy is for Japan and what the true impact of the Fukushima accident to Japan will be.

It's not magical. Japan uses electricity infrastructure and obeys the laws of physics. They have to have base load power, whether provided by nuclear, coal, even geothermal, or some other source that can be smoothed out enough (such as sporadic power sources such as solar or wind combined with batteries or a complementary peaking source such as natural gas).

If they decided to discontinue nuclear power, then they need to replace it with something. Nuclear has several advantages that make it a very powerful alternative. Even with the occasional meltdown creating unusable blocks of land for a period of time, it still uses less land area than solar or wind per unit of power generated. That is, it has a very small footprint. Nor does it create dependence on foreign imports and generate air pollution comparable to fossil fuel plants. Finally, Japan could import it's power. Maybe string some lines over from Kamchatka or the Koreas? I don't think Japan wants to be so dependent on a foreign supplier.

In the long run, there could be all sorts of better technologies. Maybe fusion will work eventually and be competitive? Maybe offshore solar/wind and some sort of battery storage system? Orbital space-based solar power? Things like that. The thing is that there currently isn't a credible replacement for nuclear power aside from other technologies with their own serious drawbacks.

Japan needs something. Despite all the drawbacks, nuclear does work.

I didn't notice your reply to that particular message. I already mentioned that I was and still am invested in Duke Energy. I am not employed to shill by anyone and have no interest in nuclear power outside of my investment and my concern about the future of my society.

It's also worth noting that while Japan does import its nuclear fuel, it doesn't have to import it all the time. Something that doesn't have to be reimported for years to decades (depending on how recycling efforts work out) is a bit less vulnerable to trade disruptions than a commodity that has to be imported each day (such as fossil fuels) or even in real time (such as electricity).

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497874)

I doubt he's including the land permanently contaminated by Mayak, Fukushima and Chernobyl in his "land use" statistics.

You'd be mistaken. The land use thing has been discussed before.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498088)

Where?

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498326)

Just to warn you, khallow will take you down a long, long thread. Then, towards the end, he will surprise you by a bunch of unsophisticated statements like nuclear has no foreign imports requirements for Japan (even though it has both Uranium import and waste export requirements). Or that there are no credible alternatives to nuclear, even when nuclear only accounts for like just 13% world electrical power production after 50 years. It really is a disappointment to find out after so much time that you have actually been debating with such a pro-nuke light weight . . .

Then he will pop up again weeks later as if the thread never took place. It is a big time sink . . . you have been warned . . .

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497848)

It isn't just defending the government which I like. Still sounds like a bunch of tough talk from people who've never run anything larger or riskier than a university lab.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498370)

Can we please have your credentials, fine sir?

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497636)

Are you counting deaths from cancer? How?

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497688)

How?

Before expecting an answer why not go to Google and type "how to estimate cancer deaths from radiation exposure", read the top entry and then see if you still have a question.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497970)

You do know, Google senpai, that there are several methods, none of which have been validated in proper epidemiological studies?

The Techa river cohort is just about all we had, pre-Fukushima.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16238437 [nih.gov]

Now, there will be the Fukushima schoolchildren to study. Their deaths from cancer and leukemia will further enlighten us, 50 years from now....
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/life_and_death/AJ2011110916955 [asahi.com]

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497674)

Even with pessistimistic estimates for Chernobyl and Fukushima death rates nuclear power still kills less people per unit of energy than any other form of electrical generation.

Yes, and air has always been the safest way to travel, but yet the FAA is one of the strictest safety organisations in history. Meanwhile, cars kill hundreds of thousands every year, and manufacturers still fight over having to implement safety features.

We hold different technologies to different standards, for different reasons. For nuclear power, this reason involves the ability of nuclear accidents to render cities, towns and surrounding regions effectively uninhabitable for up to and over 50 years. A 1% failure rate under these circumstances is not very comforting, particularly in such a space poor country as Japan.

Would you build a nuclear plant in the suburbs or port regions of New York or Tokyo? If not, why not, and where else are you going to build them? In which regions of your country are you willing to risk that 1% failure rate over 100 years, that could render the areas within 30km of the plant uninhabitable for 50 years?

If you want to complain about the safety of nuclear power tell us what you want to replace it with. Be honest and include the expected change in fatalities resulting from switching over to your alternative.

You find me the small town willing to take the risks I've mentioned above first. I'm willing to bet you;ll have more difficulty with that than I will finding alternative energy sources.

We could of course, build nuclear plants in the middle of nowhere, but apparently that's unacceptable for some reason.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498004)

What a short-sighted view !
How can you get modded insightful ?

Frankly, the problem is not the number of immediate deaths, it's the fact that the land is poisoned for a few millenia, and a lot of people will die in 100 years from this massive fuck-up (from eating contaminated food, and living in the neighbourhood).

It's easy to defend a rational point of view, when you are very FAR from the accident.
Let's suppose that a nuclear plant melts near your home.
Will you react as: no problem, I'm confident towards our engineers who have done their best, and there is nothing to worry.

Your emotions (you know, your human nature) will show that you are scared and you'll realize that if you want to have babies, they have 20% chances of being disabled (see Chernobyl), and that you have 80% of chances of dying from a cancer (from a long and painful way).

Ok, it's not your problem, so stop rationalizing here, it gives a false sense of security.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498042)

Let's suppose that a nuclear plant melts near your home.

I spent eight years operating and maintaining the reactor that I slept less than 100 feet away from.

If you want to make things personal what's your experience in this area?

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498050)

nuclear power still kills less people per unit of energy than any other form of electrical generation.

What's the rate of Cancer increase and shortened lives?

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498126)

Less than 0.04 per terawatt-hour.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

lacaprup (1652025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497358)

Why are you comparing a power plant to differing means of transportation? I would think it would be much better to compare nuke plants to coal plants, oil platforms, natural gas plants etc...

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

fisted (2295862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497366)

Cool straw-man, bro.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497466)

is that really a strawman?

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497394)

Bringing in facts is inconvenient for everyone. Nuclear's chief rival is coal, and coal's catastrophic failure rate is around 100% (every single plant ends up polluting). It's not that 1% is good; it's that 1% is way better than the competition.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497396)

A nuclear meltdown isn't necessarily explosive. To be honest it would surprise me if most cars had a lower than 1% failure rate especially among cars still running designed and manufactured before 1980 as most nuclear plants are. What I find most inconvenient about facts is how the media distorts them.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497408)

Way to compare two completely unrelated things.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (3, Insightful)

Christian Smith (3497) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497440)

And every coal mine has had tragic cave ins and deaths. Fossil fuel is causing potential global melt down.

Question is, how many of those melt downs resulted in deaths? How many compared to coal, oil and gas exploration and mining?

And we're not talking about a random blow up here. We're talking a >9 richter scale earth quake and biggest in memory tsunami, which killed infinitely more people than the melt down, and orders of magnitude more people than even Chernobyl.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497508)

We're talking a >9 richter scale earth quake and biggest in memory tsunami, which killed infinitely more people than the melt down, and orders of magnitude more people than even Chernoby.

Citation needed

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (3, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497536)

IF any of the accidents and incidents with nuclear powerplants (and nuclear weapons) have caused as many deaths and injuries as CARS have (or alcohol or tobacco or other types of powerplants, like coal or hydro), then you'd have half a point.

Come back when nuclear powerplants start killing as many people as anything I have mentioned here.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497576)

As someone elsewhere said, after forty years we now have some data on how reliable these things are. At the current rate that is one accident every 25 years. If we built as many plants as the pro-nuclear people say we should, that would mean one accident like this every six months. Nuclear power in California was dead after Three Mile Island precisely because Californians could put two and two together and foresee what happened at Fukushima.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (4, Insightful)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497662)

Random? What are you talking about? Are you using the word because a nuclear plant accident can seem random to people not paying attention?

A car that's improperly maintained can cause an accident that seems to happen "randomly." A driver that falls asleep behind the wheel can cause an accident that seems to happen "randomly". An unexpected weather event can cause an accident that seems to happen "randomly". Are you counting those as "cars randomly blowing up"? Because when they happen at a nuclear plant, you would use the same word.

Or are you talking about areas affected? Do you really want to try to compare how much (surface area * time) is wasted by car crashes, or how many people lose time or property because of them, compared to nuclear accidents? Or how much manpower is put into cleaning them up? How many fatalities?

To be perfectly honest, we put up with cars because cars are individually empowering. Nuclear power is not individually empowering, not when compared to other kinds of power generation, and it won't be until we have some sort of cold-fusion device that lets you live off the grid. Power generation is about trust. And nuclear power (right or wrong) is asking us to trust them to deal with scarily powerful forces.

You can mistrust them. That's fine. But, please don't scaremonger. Voice concerns, by all means, but don't scaremonger. Some of us do trust it, and in a vast majority of cases, that trust is not misplaced. Being a dick to people who are actually trustworthy and going out of their way to be of use to us is kind of a dick move.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497686)

Are you suggesting the first 441 planes/cars had less than a 1% failure rate. Your statistical comparison is flawed. Heck, over 100 people die each day in the U.S. from car accidents.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497780)

These data sets are not related. A better comparison might be how many nuclear power plants melted down vs., say, how many oil spills there were or how many coal mines caught fire.

I mean, that's like saying 10 out of 100,000 people are killed by guns and 20 out of 100,000 people are killed by raccoons, and therefore raccoons are more dangerous than guns.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497796)

Right, the only thing you're forgetting that approximately 100% of coal plants are already nuclear disasters. Perhaps not on the scale of a "real" nuclear disaster.
But of those nuclear disasters you're referring to, how many resulted in significant numbers of deaths (deaths other than of plant personnel?)

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

hamburger lady (218108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497816)

Can you imagine if 1% of cars would randomly blow up?

apparently you never lived through the 70's.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497934)

Can you imagine how many cars would randomly blow up or aeroplanes would have their engines fall off in flight if there were only ever 441 operating cars or 441 operating aeroplanes in the world?

This just in, engineering experience and unit reliability increases as number of units increase.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497946)

Here's a hint: Nuclear plants are not cars.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497954)

Can you imagine if 1% of cars would randomly blow up?

It's like you aren't aware of the millions killed by automobiles, let alone maimed.

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498002)

Can you imagine if 1% of cars would randomly blow up? How about 1% of airplanes have their engines fall off in flight?

What an arsebackwards comparison. 1% of planes would fall out of the sky if they were 50 years old. What about cars with no seatbelts, traction control, or any other of those lovely advances in technology that have happened over the last 40 years to make us safer?

As usual people people pick the facts that are most convenient to their argument and then completely ignore all other external influences.

Here's another fact. While 1% of nuclear reactors may have experienced catastrophic failure, they have killed less people per TWh generated than any other form of energy production taking into account the complete life cycle of the fuel.

But yes feel free to get all hysterical about a 40 year old reactor melting down, but don't blame the technology, blame the people who were supposed to maintain / shutdown these.

Oh an 100% of cars that got hit by the tsunami suffered catastrophic failure, in comparison the nuke plants did rather well. There's another inconvenient fact for you ;-)

Re:1% of all nuke plants have melted down now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498164)

How many have died as a direct result of nuclear reactors in the past decade? Zero, or damn near.
How many have died as a direct result of coal. Hundreds, possibly thousands and that's just the miners!

Pro-mistakes advocates. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497310)

I wonder if pro-nuclear advocates will just ignore this report?

Re:Pro-mistakes advocates. (5, Interesting)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497390)

Absolutely agree with this report. Incompetence and high risk activities do not belong together. That goes from building a dam to driving a car, all of which have had their share of preventable accidents.

As a nuclear advocate, I find the nytimes summary of the report indicates it is a little too weak and toothless, as they say, "the interim report seems to leave ultimate responsibility for the disaster ambiguous."

Not only that, but the report states that a "quicker response" would have helped, as opposed to the obvious "design flaws in the redundant cooling systems should have been fixed previously." Most everything that should have been done to prevent this should have been done decades before.

Re:Pro-mistakes advocates. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497448)

For crying out loud, what the fuck do you know about Chernobyl? Were you there when the accident happened, or do you know someone who died of having been there when it happened? Chernobyl was totally preventable, Fukushima is not.

Re:Pro-mistakes advocates. (3, Informative)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497658)

Fukushima was. The tsunami took out the diesel generators which were used for backup cooling. Having redundant systems (note: redundant does not mean more of the same system) and placing them further inland would have made this controllable.

As for "was I there when the accident happened," I believe that amounts to an argument for believing the world didn't exist until I was born.

Re:Pro-mistakes advocates. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497734)

Thanks captain hindsight!

Re:Pro-mistakes advocates. (2)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497464)

Alright, then. So do you support nukes in China?
Here is a little reminder of the different approaches the two countries have on things. [theatlantic.com]

Perhaps you might want to clarify just which countries you are pro-nuke for . . .

Re:Pro-mistakes advocates. (1)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497730)

I thought it was obvious. I'm pro nuke for whoever is willing to be responsible and own up to the risks involved. Take the US, for example. Three Mile Island is the worst accident they've had, and it killed a shocking 0 people.

I think, when things go wrong, people should be held accountable for their mistakes (see: wall street meltdown. Didn't happen there, either). Here I think the issue is with Tokyo Electric, and some people should be canned, some fined personally, and the company as a whole held responsible. People in charge of regulating and overseeing nuclear power in Japan should also be held accountable, as the potential for disaster was not exactly news.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20040523x2.html [japantimes.co.jp]

Re:Pro-mistakes advocates. (1)

Idou (572394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38498000)

I think, when things go wrong, people should be held accountable for their mistakes.

Right, so the U.S. taking 7 and half years to admit an actual meltdown at 3M proves they are worthy? Who got fired for that mistake?

Here I think the issue is with Tokyo Electric, and some people should be canned, some fined personally, and the company as a whole held responsible.

The problem is that even if that did happen, which it will not, it would come no where close to preventing future accidents. This is the banking bailout issue all over again but with global health implications.

Again, I think you are one of the more reasonable pro-nukes here, but I still feel like statements like "willing to be responsible and own up to the risks involved" has very little to do with the realities of today. Especially when taking in account that the majority of future nukes will be in India and China, with little to none international oversight.

Re:Pro-mistakes advocates. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497626)

> Incompetence and high risk activities do not belong together.

How can you support nuclear power then? People are fucking incompetent. And, yea, there will always be incompetent people. And, yea, they will screw things up. And, yea, that's why you shouldn't build a system that goes into destruct mode without constant action/supervision by some incompetent people.

Re:Pro-mistakes advocates. (1)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497812)

This is an argument against cars.
"People are fucking incompetent. And, yea, there will always be incompetent people. And, yea, they will screw things up. And, yea, that's why you shouldn't let them drive a 2 ton kinetic weapon that won't run into something without constant action/supervision by some incompetent people."

As an example of competence, I point you to the USA. Only three people have died from nuclear power in the US, back in 1961. For comparison, that many people die from car accidents in the US every hour.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_and_radiation_accidents

Hindsight is 20/20 (2)

lacaprup (1652025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497314)

Do post hoc government reports ever not condemn agencies/corprations etc?

Re:Hindsight is 20/20 (1)

Code Yanker (2359188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497530)

This is insightful. Not sure why you got modded down but I was just thinking the exact same thing.

Re:Hindsight is 20/20 (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497612)

I'm sure the regulators are doing everything they can to ignore any of their own actions that contributed to the problem but regardless there's enough of the blame that belongs with the company that I've started pronouncing TEPCO as "Shinra".

Axe to grind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497560)

Hmm mdsolar posting anti nuclear, yes it was a disaster but the submitter appears to have an axe to grind based on previous nuclear story submissions. I am pro nuclear and renewables both have a role in future energy mix

Not news (4, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497808)

Anyone in Japan who has followed the developments would have told you so much. I was hopeful until the Sunday after the quake, when it became plainly obvious that the government and TEPCO are lying about the extent of the damage. It was obvious that a meltdown has occurred at the time of the first explosion, but nobody with even a textbook understanding of how a reactor works would have had any doubts after unit 3 sent large concrete blocks 150 meters up in the air.

Yet, the Japanese government and TEPCO "admitted the possibility" of meltdowns in the beginning of May, and admitted meltdowns have actually occurred in late July. All this was done while the nuclear industry was faking support for nuclear energy all over Japan, and officials in Japan alongside with power company officials were twisting arms, legs and other limbs to avoid responsibility.

I won't even discuss the irresponsible dispatch of highly radioactive water on barges and into the ocean and the venting of radioactive steam in the air, which continued for weeks, etc. Now, when the cooling of the reactors has allegedly finished, TEPCO has few hundred tons of highly radioactive sludge in containers on site, waiting for the next quake and tsunami to wash them over the landscape. These will, supposedly, be "dealt with" in the distant future.

What is really surprising is not only the abysmal response of TEPCO. Nuclear industry in Japan has forever been plagued by accidents. What is un-fucking-believable s the continuing complacency of the government about it. There have been no investigations, no arrests, nothing.

A government panel, composed mostly of "old boys" (former execs from the nuclear industry, who now serve as "regulators" on taxpayer dime and whose job is to excuse the fuckups of their former colleagues) estimated that Fukushima will increase cost of nuclear power by 20%. Independent experts estimated that actual increase will be more like 3-4 times the current cost. Guess what -- TEPCO already wants the price of electricity to rise by about 20% from next year -- that is just to cope with the immediate cost of the Fukushima cleanup and compensations. The independent experts may yet turn out to be right about a fourfold cost increase.

Considering the size of the accident and the level of criminal complacency and negligence that lead to it, the report doesn't even come to "damning". It is more like a strongly-worded letter. What is needed in this case is some good ole criminal prosecution, some long terms in the PMITA prison for the TEPCO board members and plant managers, and restructuring the company so that investors who cheered the bad safety practices are heavily punished. A cleanup of the regulatory bodies won't be a bad thing as well.

But it is Japan, so none of these are very likely to happen. Instead, we'll have another accident in a few years.

Re:Not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38498154)

Welcome to the real world where covering up is cheaper than telling the truth.

The local water company told us their drinking water was safe. After looking on their site in May they suddenly told that their drinking water was not safe during March and April.
The local government said we were safe and did not need to worry about radiation. When we turned on the radiation meter, it went off scale due to the contaminated earth around our house.
The government will always play the whole issues down, if it were only because they are the major stockholder of Tepco.
If Tepco goes down, the one hurt most is the government. If Tepco goes down, all those lazy-ass worthless government employees have no retirement-jobs at Tepco.
So everyone is desperate to prevent the truth from coming out.
And all Tepco does is raising the electricity bill by 20% to cover for their losses.
While Tepco was saying that they would sell millions worth of unrelated real estate, in the end they can't just let go and try to make the Japanese people pay.

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